Feeds

SOCA 'faces axe'

'British FBI' to replace 'British FBI'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency, created just four years ago and presented as Britain's answer to the FBI, is to be scrapped by coalition ministers, it's reported.

A Home Office consultation to be published today will propose replacing the secretive organisation with a National Crime Agency, which would include a new specialist border policing unit and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

The changes could mean a radical shake-up of how the internet is policed, although it's as yet unclear what would be substantially different about the National Crime Agency.

SOCA has responsibility for Britain's international collaborations on fighting cybercrime, which are crucial given that the majority of large scams originate overseas. It also acts as a central interception agency, tapping phones and the internet on behalf of police forces.

The restructuring would apparently also put paid to CEOP chief executive Jim Gamble's plans to take his organisation independent. It has so far been overseen by SOCA, but following lobbying the last government agreed to make it a non-departmental public body in its own right. Reports suggest that move is now off the agenda.

SOCA was itself created by the amalgamation of several existing police units in 2006, including the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit. It has since been repeatedly criticised for its excessive secrecy, and low conviction and criminal asset recovery rates.

Last month Britain's most senior policeman Sir Paul Stephenson criticised the lack of progress made on organised crime in recent years. He did however praise the Met's new Police Central e-Crime Unit, which has already had its small budget slashed by the Home Office.

The coalition's plans to do away with SOCA are due to be announced as part of the its policing strategy later today. The blueprint - "Policing in the 21st Century" - will also include proposals for directly-elected police commissioners and for the NPIA, the police IT quango, to be cut back. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.